Consumer Information — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

Consumer Information

Consumer Protection/General

  • The Better Business Bureaus
    (http://www.bbb.org/)
    Alerts and news, business report databases, charity reports and standards, online complaint forms, a resource library, and a Better Business Bureau directory.
  • Consumer @ction
    (http://www.consumer-action.org/)
    This multilingual library of consumer information has news releases, pamphlets, pricing surveys, and a complaint hotline.
  • Consumer.gov
    (http://www.consumer.gov/)
    A “one-stop” link to a broad range of federal information resources available online. It is designed so that you can locate information by category — such as Food, Health, Product Safety, Money, Transportation and more.
  • Consumer World
    (http://www.consumerworld.org/)
    Consumer World has gathered over 2,000 of the most useful consumer resources on the Internet, and categorized them here for easy access. This site is comprehensive and particularly well presented.
  • eConsumer.gov
    (http://www.econsumer.gov/)
    Complaints about e-business conducted over national boundaries may be filed in the form provided. Additionally, consumer agencies in other countries may be contacted. Currently there are 19 countries participating.
  • FDA Guide to Dietary Supplements
    (http://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/default.htm)
    This article addresses such topics as the definition of a dietary supplement, safety monitoring, understanding claims, and fraudulent products.
  • Federal Citizen Information Center
    (http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/)
    A searchable site from the U.S. General Services Administration that features full text versions of hundreds of the best federal consumer publications available.
  • The Federal Trade Commission
    (http://www.ftc.gov)
    The FTC is charged with protecting consumers and the free-market system. Consumers can find some helpful information here on a variety of topics.
  • ID Theft
    (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/)
    The Federal Trade Commission clearinghouse for reports about identity theft.
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Center
    (https://www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp)
    Government (FBI) headquarters for reporting and combatting all types of Internet fraud. Consumers can easily and securely submit complaints.
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
    (http://www.jcaho.org/index.html)
    Accreditation status for nearly 16,000 organizations, including long-term, ambulatory, home care centers, and hospitals. Detailed performance reports avilable for one-third of the organizations.
  • National Consumer Law Center
    (http://www.nclc.org/)
    Research and initiatives regarding a number of consumer law issues, from affordable housing to credit card fraud.
  • National Do Not Call Registry
    (https://www.donotcall.gov/)
    The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free.
  • National Fraud Information Center
    (http://www.fraud.org)
    Created by the National Consumers League to counter telemarketing and Internet fraud, the National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) web site offers tips for consumers to avoid common telemarketing and Internet fraud.
  • Public Citizen
    (http://www.citizen.org/)
    The Internet site of the consumer advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader. Information includes auto safety, campaign finance, and global trade.
  • Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s Attorney General
    (http://www.cslib.org/attygenl/mainlinks/tabindex3.htm)
    Information on a variety of consumer-related issues from Connecticut’s Attorney General is arranged simply and directly.
  • SalesCircular.com
    (http://salescircular.com/)
    Select your state to compare prices and features for your local sales and free products. Sales notices are collected from Sunday newspapers and other weekly circulars and cover all major national chains and select local stores.
  • The Truth About Credit
    (http://www.truthaboutcredit.org/)
    Sponsored by the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), this site offers advice on credit cards.
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    (http://www.cpsc.gov/)
    CPSC, an independent Federal regulatory agency, helps keep American families safe by reducing the risk of injury or death from consumer products. Report unsafe products online or by calling a toll-free number.

Product Information

  • Consumer Reports
    (http://www.consumerreports.org/)
    At this site from the popular product-rating magazine you can find reliable, unbiased consumer advice. While many of the reports on the site are free, product and service ratings and recommendations are available only to paid subscribers.
  • ConsumerSearch.com
    (http://www.consumersearch.com/xp6/ConsumerSearch/home.xml)
    Links to a collection of unbiased product reviews from major consumer information organizations.
  • Epinions
    (http://www.epinions.com/)
    Unbiased advice from consumers like you on over 100,000 products and services to help you make better buying decisions.
  • Good Housekeeping Institute
    (http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-testing/)
    Articles and recommendations on everything from cordless phones to cheese graters.
  • Household Products Database
    (http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/)
    This database of household products from air fresheners to window cleaners gives safety and toxicity information about the things you use everyday. Searchable by product name or ingredients.
  • PriceSCAN
    (http://www.pricescan.com/)
    If you’re thinking of buying anything, this should be your first stop. This shopping bot compares prices from both online and offline sources, including magazine ads and vendor catalogs.
  • Skin Deep
    (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/)
    Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.
  • Toy Hazard Recalls
    (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html)
    Published by the US Consumer Product Safety Comission, this website lists current toy recalls.
  • TRAC: Telecommunications Research & Action Center
    (http://trac.org/)
    Compare dozens of current phone deals based on your personal calling patterns.

Automobiles

  • Automobile Leasing: The Art of the Deal
    (http://www.leaseguide.com/index2.htm)
    Useful, easy-to-understand information that will help you to know how automobile leasing works, enable you to decide if leasing is for you, and show you how to get the best and fairest lease deal possible on your next car.
  • Cars.com
    (http://www.cars.com/go/index.jsp?aff=national)
    New and used car prices, reviews, loan information, and model reports.
  • CrashTest.com
    (http://www.crashtest.com/intro/index.htm)
    Safety ratings on trucks, cars and sport utility vehicles from automotive crash tests and data taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For “real-life” crash data, the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), has data and reports on all automobile crashes involving a fatality that occurred on a U.S. public roadway.
  • Edmunds.com
    (http://www.edmunds.com/)
    Information about buying new and used cars, along with dealer prices and lists of specifications for approximately 600 different models of cars.
  • Kelley Blue Book
    (http://www.kbb.com/)
    New and used car price guide, vehicle reviews, buying advice and more.
  • Lemon Law Information and Sites
    (http://www.123car.com/lemon/lemonbystate.html)
    Statutes, consumer protection offices, and complaint forms for all 50 states.
  • MSN Autos
    (http://autos.msn.com/default.aspx)
    Dealer invoice and suggested retail prices, specs on all models and makes, crash test results, insurance ratings, fuel economy data, photos, and independent reviews are just a part of this comprehensive site from Microsoft. Provides an online version of the Kelley Blue Book.
  • NADA Used Vehicle Values & Appraisal Guide
    (http://www.nadaguides.com/)
    The online database of the National Automobile Dealers Association vehicle guides (consumer editions) provides price information for used and classic cars, trucks, boats, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motor homes, trailers, campers, and personal watercraft.

Charitable Giving

  • American Institute of Philanthropy
    (http://www.charitywatch.org/)
    See particularly top rated charities.
  • BBB Wise Giving Alliance
    (http://www.give.org/)
    Give.org evaluates charities based on a list of standards; a quick list on their site notes whether or not a charity meets these standards.
  • CharityAmerica.com
    (http://www.charityamerica.com/)
    Designed to connect donors, volunteers, and charitable organizations, this site has information about more than 100 charitable organizations across the nation.
  • GuideStar
    (http://www.guidestar.org/)
    In addition to information on the activities and finances of more than one million nonprofit organizations, this site has a donor education section, news of interest to donors and nonprofits, and a resource exchange. Reports are informational and drawn primarily from IRS 990 and 990EZ filings or from questionnaires.

Family Finance

  • BankRate.com
    (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/default.asp)
    Information on all things related to banks, including credit cards (see the best credit card deals), credit unions, checking/ATM fees, mortgages, money markets, home equity, and more. See Banxquote for local rates on all sorts of personal loans.
  • Credit Cards and Rates Finder
    (http://www.abcguides.com/creditcards/cci_main.htm)
    Compare interest rates on more than 330 credit cards.
  • Mint.com
    (http://www.mint.com/)
    A free online financial management system. Consolidate all your accounts in one easy-to-use, secure location. Get notifications of upcoming bills, low balances, and unusual activity. Provides bank-level security and identity protection using VeriSign and Truste. Free registration required.
  • Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
    (http://www.sec.gov/investor.shtml)
    The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides a variety of services and tools to address the problems and questions you may face as an investor.

Home Ownership

  • Domania
    (http://domania.com/index.jsp)
    Buying? Selling? Just looking? Domania provides all the tools and information you need to save time and money in the real estate game. Investigate home prices, explore home values, and learn about property taxes, among other things.
  • Fannie Mae
    (http://www.fanniemae.com/)The Federal National Mortgage Association site includes information for professional mortgage lenders and several sections for home buyers. A link is provided to the Fannie Mae Foundation, which offers home buyer information in seven languages.
  • Homebuyer’s Kit
    (http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm)
    HUD provides 100 Questions and Answers About Buying a New Home, advises homebuyers about their rights, and offers advice on choosing a realtor and deciding how big a mortgage they can afford. Information also available in Spanish.
  • Realtor.com
    (http://www.realtor.com/Default.asp?poe=realtor)
    Enormous database of homes for sale on the Web. Also has a directory of realtors and consumer information about buying or selling a home.
  • Relocation Information
    This page, created by Wilton Library’s Reference staff, has links to sites of interest to those thinking of relocating, including information about schools, chambers of commerce, real estate agents, movers, and local government.
  • Yahoo! Real Estate
    (http://realestate.yahoo.com/)
    In addition to listings and financial tools to help you in the house hunt, Yahoo! includes city comparisons and profiles for medium to large metropolitan areas across the country.
  • Zillow.com Free instant valuations for 67 million homes based on the most current information available.

Insurance

  • Best’s Ratings Online
    (http://www.ambest.com/)
    Free registration gives you access to profiles of nearly 6,000 life/health, property/casualty, and international insurance companies including Best’s rating, a business overview, financial statements, and licensing information. Complete company reports with detailed financials, analysis, geography, and details of Best’s rankings are available on a pay-per-view basis. Also available are insurance industry news and a simple directory search.
  • Insurance Information Institute
    (http://www.iii.org/)
    The Insurance Information Institute is a non-profit, educational and communications organization sponsored by the auto, home and business insurance industry. I.I.I. is dedicated to educating consumers about what insurance is and how it works.
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance
    (http://www.ncqa.org/)
    Accreditation scores on more than half the nation’s HMO’s, based on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s report.
  • Quicken Insweb
    From Quicken, this site lets you assess your insurance needs, consult a life events advisor (recently married, divorced, retired, had kids?), and get real time quotes for all types of personal insurance.